Oral Health and Dental Care

What are the ingredients in dental sealants and if they chip off what effect do they have if swallowed?

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2010-05-05 14:52:53
2010-05-05 14:52:53

ask your dentist

AnswerI just found something I suspected, but could not prove. Check out this article.

If you cannot get to this link, go to the "National Wildlife Foundation" web site, click on the "Magazines" link, and "Your Health" section. Then read the article on "Protecting yourself from unsafe plastics".

Guess what! (surprise, surprise): Dental sealants are made of a plastic substance. Making up this plastic: "Bisphenol A (BPA)-a chemical building block of the plastic" which causes chromosone damage leading to birth defects such as down's syndrone.

"The bedrock of a multibillion-dollar industry, BPA forms the polycarbonate plastic used in some toddlers' sippy cups, food can linings, dental sealants and sports water bottles as well as food containers and baby bottles. Recent studies show that BPA leaches from intact polycarbonate products, though not as fast as it does from worn or damaged plastic."

AnswerThis is a great question, one that I am asking right now as our dentist is pressuring me to have my son's teath "sealed".

Dental sealants are noted as an "acrylic-like material" in a brochure I received from the dentists office. What is a "sealant"? Plastic? The word is used throughout this brochure rather than a description of the real material they want to put on my son's teeth. If it is some oil-derived chemical substance, how do I know that the slow ingesting of this substance through regular wear won't give my son cancer?

And the words "safe" are used again and again. But never once is written WHY it is safe. Just that it is. Says who? On the back of the brochure is written "Distributed by Royal Cross...". No web site. No physical postal address. Hmmmm....smells like the manufacturer of "sealant" produced this brochure as a sales tool!

Would you trust a cigarette company when they produce a brochure telling you cigarette smoking is safe? Whoever wrote the brochure on sealants wouldn't even put their true company name, address, and web site on the brochure...

Does ANYONE know if "sealant" is really safe from a long-term health point of view??? Until I get some answers, my son's teeth stay "au naturel", thank you very much. Just brushing 3 times a day.

AnswerMost fissure sealants as well as composite (white) fillings contain Bisphenol A. It is an essential ingrediant in these products and allows the material to set from a fluid state into a hard state when a bright light is shone upon it. However, once set, the material is insoluble and will not cause any harmful effects if swallowed.

I'm sure there will be studies out there in the internet listing harmful effects from virtually any chemical you care to name but it is important to take these in context. Vitamin A for example is several times more toxic than cyanide if taken in the same quantity, but this is no reason to cut it out your diet!

Incidentally, I would recommend your son gets his teeth fissure sealed ASAP. The sealant is primarily a preventative measure and if left too long he will need a filling which will contain Bisphenol A if its white anyway or you could always get a metal one, but then there's the silver, tin, zinc, and of course a small quantity of mercury to ponder on.

Answer

Or...you could opt not for the sealant, and wait for the decay. If the decay comes, you could certainly opt not for the filling, whether white or silver. Then, if the decay gets to the nerve, don't give any pain meds due to the possible liver or kidney damage. If an abscess occurs, heaven forbid antibiotics, but then again the risk for submandibular cellulitis may outweigh the risk of chemical damage by the antibiotics.

Answer

The problem is preventing tooth dacay. So, if sealant are toxic for kids, look for other ways to prevent the formation of tooth dacay. The trueth is: "tooth dacay is caused by mineral deficiencies." Good hygene is the first satep and the second is optimal nutrition. Sealants will not necessary solve all the problems.

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